What happens at the dentist/hygienist?

(9 Posts)
ScottishBeth Wed 07-Apr-21 20:44:31

I have my first ever appointment at a private dentist soon. As a child I had regular NHS dentist appointments, where I believe they did an examination and clean. Occasionally they would refer me to the hygienist but I think she just went through brushing/flossing technique.

As an adult I have been pretty irregular wth visits to the dentist. I have had a few, they have all been through NHS, not seen a hygienist, and none of the dentists have mentioned that I should.

So now I want to sort this all out. I've found a private dentist, which was recommended, and seems to be somewhere that is really good for nervous patients. From things I've read, it looks like people routinely go to the dentist and the hygienist. Is that right?

At the appointment that I have, will the dentist do a clean? Or will I need to book with the hygienist? And is a clean the same as a scale and polish?

Thank you! I don't want to ask anyone in real life as I'm a bit self conscious about my teeth! And also it feels embarrassing that I don't already know this.

OP’s posts: |
itwa Wed 07-Apr-21 20:49:22

The dentist will do a thorough check, they may x ray your teeth there and then, advise you what work you may need done and will do a small clean and polish.

If they think you would benefit from a hygienist, then you can make a separate appointment to see them.

dotoallasyouwouldbedoneby Wed 07-Apr-21 21:45:31

On your first appointment to see a private dentist, they should be happy for you to ask as many questions as you want. So ask away that is what you are paying for...it is also up to you what happens...they need your consent for anything they do.

Silvercatowner Wed 07-Apr-21 21:49:03

In my experience, even if you spend 23 hours a day brushing and flossing, you will still be told off for not looking after your teeth.

Floralnomad Wed 07-Apr-21 21:53:26

At our dentist ( private ) the dentist will only clean teeth if you have specifically booked for it with your visit otherwise you book to see the hygienist . Our adult son had a scale and polish with the dentist today as the hygienist is fully booked until June .

Floralnomad Wed 07-Apr-21 21:56:05


In my experience, even if you spend 23 hours a day brushing and flossing, you will still be told off for not looking after your teeth.

Not necessarily true , my adult daughter went yesterday and the dentist said she didn’t need to see the hygienist as her teeth are absolutely plaque / tartar free .

QueenPaw Thu 08-Apr-21 01:47:02

I use a dentist which is private and NHS, and I'm with their denplan scheme (gives me 2 check ups a year, 2 hygienist appointments and covers most treatment)
I book mine back to back as I travel a fair way so go in, then see the dentist who checks whether my medication has changed, asks me if any issues, prods around my teeth and asks if I still wear my night guard. Generally he says "all fine" and sends me back to the waiting room to wait for the hygienist

Hygienist - clean is yes a scale and polish. Because of covid they were doing manual ones so basically scrape to remove any tartar then a polish up. You can ask them about flossing/toothbrushes etc too and they often give samples of toothpaste. The woman who does my hygienist treatment also does whitening and cosmetic bonding so I've had work done there before. Tell them if you have any sensitive bits, I have one part of my gum that hates being poked despite being healthy so she goes very carefully around it

I was a terrified patient, and I mean terrified. Until I had to have a tooth extracted! I had it done with no sedation, had music through my earphones and it was absolutely fine. I then quit smoking and voluntarily had cosmetic work done and my poor dentist was confused "er you want work doing? AND you quit smoking? Ok I just sit down for a minute"

Then I go home and they remind me 6 months later to book in for my next appointment!
Hopefully that helps


emmathedilemma Thu 08-Apr-21 09:57:27


In my experience, even if you spend 23 hours a day brushing and flossing, you will still be told off for not looking after your teeth.

Hygienists are evil people!!

ScottishBeth Thu 08-Apr-21 13:16:38

Thank you everyone. That is very helpful!

OP’s posts: |

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